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Maxwell Traenor

Captains Council observer
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  1. A fantastic introspective by @Saveron and @Prudence "Rue" Blackwell. "No, I'm not crying, YOU'RE crying!" 😜 ==== “And a thousand memories….is all I take with me...cause your smile is just too much to see….You’re just a thousand memories” ((Saveron’s quarters, USS Constitution)) ::As Rue had promised, the book she had given Saveron was well loved. The cover was aged, but had been cared for to avoid the degradation of time, and meanwhile the pages looked like they were turned carefully. Also as promised, there were odd little notes in the book. Sometimes written on the pags near the spine, and sometimes simply written on little pieces of paper tucked between pages, which gave the book a thickness that was a bit unnatural to it.:: ::On the inside cover of the book was a series of names, though only one with the name Blackwell, that being Rue’s : Prudence Blackwell, 323 West Burnside, Portland Oregon, 97706. And then a series of small notes, such as one written in an elegant script:: Note: To my dear granddaughters, May you make all of your own stories in the future to share with your grand daughters ::The rest of the cover was blank, save for a small child’s drawing of a unicorn in the corner: ::Saveron handled the book with care, mindful of its age and obvious value both as a family heirloom and as a paper book. Rue had given it to him freely, but he already knew that one day he would return it. There was too much family history here to simply leave with one who was not a part of it. The thought gave him pause for a moment, before he began turning the pages.:: ::As he flipped through the pages, some folded note papers fell out - some on proper stationary, a bit brown from age, and some from a lined notepad. On one page was something perhaps curious that stood out on one of the notes at the end of the book, written along the margins in neat handwriting:: What would it be like to love someone who would ultimately only ever see you as a fond memory….someone so beautiful...that you’d give everything...and then in the end..they simply could not return it. Lear ends up being one of the saddest people in this story. ::Lear. The isolated prince who loved the woman that the unicorn became; an unnatural shape for her. Real but temporary, ultimately his affection had centred on an illusion. The Vulcan considered the concept odd, but was coming to understand that such stories were metaphors. Terrans, like many other species, based their relationships on mutual attraction rather than practical compatibility. How often did they encounter the situation of that attraction not being returned?:: ::Considering his own experiences with them, perhaps far too often. It was not an agreeable thought.:: ::On another page towards the center:: Then again...I can understand Amalthea/the Unicorn. Having to be someone you cannot be for the one you love...seems like death. ::curiously, that one is added to, in a similar handwriting that seems refined by time:: And it is...it is a death of sorts. Gabe wants me to give up the stars for him. He wants children, but for me to raise them essentially on my own. He wants support, without it in return. I love him….and I don’t always know that he loves me back. Hell, mom wants grand children...and all I can hope for is that Lucas and Darcy will do that for her. ::It was a terribly personal revelation, and given what Wyn had told him about Rue and Ish’s encounter with an Ensign called Gabriel on the Starbase, he had no doubt who had written the note. It seemed like a bizarre kind of voyeurism, and yet Rue had known the notes were there when she gave him the book.:: ::Was the logical conclusion that Rue had wanted him to have that information? Or was that reading too much into the gesture? Perhaps she merely wished to share the story with him, and did not mind that her musings went with it. Terrans were not always logical. And yet… there were questions.:: ::Fairy tales had puzzled him greatly for a long time. Simple fiction he had eventually come to understand as a way of gaining alternate experiences, but the fantastic nature of tales like this one made them rather more complex. Eventually he decided that they were a manner of allegory and metaphor, often more than one. That didn’t necessarily make them easier to understand. But this one was important to Rue.:: oO If you have questions… Oo ::Rue and Wyn had transferred to the Eagle some months ago, and he had promised to maintain contact. Setting the book carefully on the edge of his desk, Saveron punched in the details for a call to the Eagle, and the owner of the book.: ((U.S.S Eagle, Rue’s quarters)) ::It had been while since she gave the book to Saveron. A while since they had parted. She had been busy on her new ship - new duties, new friends, and while she hadn’t forgotten Saveron by any means, she had been forced to put the occurrence to the back of her mind to focus on the present. When she got a call however, she blinked at the name and hit the console:: Blackwell: Saveron, how are you? Saveron: Sochya Rue, I am well. And yourself? Blackwell: I am well, I’m sorry I haven’t written much….admittedly it’s been a bit crazy. Saveron: I do not doubt that with her launch, the Eagle’s missions and duties have kept her crew occupied, as have those of the Constitution. ::After all, he hadn’t written either.:: However, now that we are on shore leave, I considered it an appropriate moment to enquire of your welfare and your progress aboard your new posting. Blackwell::She chuckled a bit to that:: Well, I won’t complain to that. I am good, the new posting seems to suit me thus far, and the crew is good to work with. ::The Vulcan inclined his head in acknowledgement.:: Saveron: That is acceptable. Is Wyn Foster also finding the posting agreeable? Blackwell: I think so….it turns out Choi was transferred here too, so they have been reunited. ::She smiled a bit to that, and rubbed her neck. She looked at his face on the screen and admittedly it was good to see him. She hadn’t forgotten the grey of his eyes, the calm in his voice, but it was so much better live than in memory, even through a console:: ::Choi and Wyn back on the same ship. The pair hadn’t parted under the best of terms, and Saveron was all too aware that Choi’s personality had likely been impacted by his entanglement with T’Reshik’s katra. He had done what he could, but there were limits.:: ::Still, Wyn and Choi had the opportunity, if they wished, to re-visit what there had been between them. Seeing Rue again, hearing those words, raised the question of what might have happened, had they not been separated. But he knew that there was no logic in dwelling on the thought, much as Rue’s brief company, her warmth and optimism, had reminded him of how preferable it was to have a close companion. But she was a million miles away. :: Saveron: One would express the preference that their reunion has been positive. ::He said mildly, round-about question.:: There were… complications, when they parted. ::But Rue knew that.:: Blackwell: I think they are doing well, though admittedly, I’ve been attempting to give Wyn...a little space ::She cleared her throat:: This might have been bold, but I accidently let it slip that..I helped you through your Ponn Far. ::She grinned a bit:: Afraid you left a few bruises that I had to explain. ::She hoped he saw the humor in the comment, or as much humor as a Vulcan could experienced:: ::The Vulcan considered the revelation for a moment, then shrugged gnomically. The Andorian physician knew more about the Vulcan’s sex life, such as it was, than he’d presumably ever wanted to. But he knew he could trust Wyn’s discretion.:: Saveron: Fortunately I did not require a medical in the days following your departure. ::He returned dryly.:: Blackwell:::She grins a bit:: Standard Procedure - Physical before full duty on a new ship, and well we both know Wyn wasn’t going to let me past that. ::She shrugged:: Anyways.. ::The Vulcan changed the subject.:: Saveron: I have read the book that you gifted me. ::So saying, he picked it up from the edge of the desk and brought it into view of the console’s camera.:: Blackwell: Oh? Did you enjoy it? ::She leaned forward, close to the screen:: Saveron: I was interesting. ::He allowed.:: I have always found the nature of ‘fairy stories’ to be somewhat challenging; the extended nature of the metaphor can cause it to become quite complex. Blackwell: Well, sometimes they are a bit vague...though with the Last Unicorn….I always considered it about a discovery of ...oneself. The self one knows can be there, and the one that someone avoids. But that is a personal interpretation. ::After a moment’s thought he inclined his head silently in acknowledgement. It was an interesting interpretation; one which he would meditate on.:: Saveron: Some of the notations within the book assisted in the translation. Others were… considerably personal. ::She swallowed faintly and smiled a bit:: Blackwell: I..suppose they were. I hope...you didn’t find anything offensive or...disturbing. ::She looked to him:: Saveron: I did not. ::He assured her.:: Rather I considered whether it was information that you might prefer not to share. Blackwell:: Oh...well..::She exhales: I ...figured in some ways...you got to..know a side of me few will ever see….and well, I was privileged to see a side of you others may not...so I..was ...and still am comfortable with you being privy to everything in that book. Saveron: Then I have no objection. ::Though he did consider that perhaps one day he owed her some answers in turn. But no, freely given.:: May I request some elaboration? Blackwell: Ask away. Saveron: In one of your… notes, mentioned that you ‘would not give up the stars’ for another’s preference. That is entirely reasonable. But what is your preference? ::He was curious. What did Rue want out of life?:: Blackwell: My preference...is well, to be able to..live a life where I can be free to explore..well, anything. To have adventures, to take chances, within reason. And in the end, if I do have a partner, then ...it’s with someone who may not want to do everything with me, but is always appreciative of why I might enjoy something, respects that...and I do the same for them. I mean...I guess in a way a bit like my parents. My father has done some strange, ridiculous things...and my mother as well…..because they ..have stars they want to grasp...and yet at the end..they come back to each other. I guess I sort of want that for myself. Perhaps it’s a bit selfish...or overly optimistic ::She grinned faintly:: ::The Vulcan considered her words.:: Saveron: I do not think so. Knowing what one wishes to achieve is the first step to doing so, and giving one’s partner both the support and the freedom to achieve their goals is part of what makes that whole greater than the sum of it’s parts. ::He opined.:: I am aware that many species base their relationship on mutual attraction first; amongst my own people, where it is necessary for an adult to find a partner, we look for congruency of views and life plans first. ::And it sounded as though Rue might do the same. Affection, if such were important to a Vulcan couple, could develop later. Of course many Vulcans had their partners chosen for them in childhood, but their parents still looked for similar or complementary personality traits.:: Blackwell: And for yourself? ::He considered before answering, not wishing to give a shallow response.:: Saveron: I seek to aid others, and to seek new experiences. To explore. ::He said mildly, with a slight incline of the head, acknowledging that she had used the same word.:: I wish to interact with other species and thus learn more about sentient life as a whole. I wish to see the galaxy. ::And since Rue had spoken of her personal preferences, he reciprocated.:: Whilst I appreciate the opportunity to raise Saavok, given the dangers to him that have been demonstrated I do not wish to have more children whilst I am in Starfleet. ::It wasn’t logical to expose them to such, and he already had kids.:: If I were to find a mate, I would prefer that they shared an interest in exploration, but also exercised significant independence. And, if not of the same species, would be accepting of my culture, as I would of theirs, rather than placing their cultural expectations on me. ::But that was the voice of experience talking.:: Blackwell::She nodded to that:: It makes sense...I...have a question...am I the first terran woman you have...had relations with. ::A pause, and then the Vulcan gave a slight shake of the head.:: Saveron: Negative. I had a relationship with a Terran woman whilst on the USS Invicta. ::He revealed.:: She was an agreeably intelligent individual with a comparable enthusiasm for space exploration, however her expectations for our relationship appeared to be based distinctly in her own culture. I... tired of disappointing her. Blackwell: ::She blinked a bit...the dots connecting faster than she wanted to admit:: Saveron: I elected to end the relationship after five months. I was finding it less agreeable, and I considered that she might prefer a partner of her own species. However… she reacted… very badly. ::He wouldn’t say ‘emotionally’ because such accusations were rude in his culture.:: It significantly damaged our previous friendship. I… did not wish to cause her grief, but I could not see how to avoid doing so without remaining in a situation which I found increasingly unsatisfactory. ::Which perhaps explained why, if the signs had been there from Rue, Saveron hadn’t seen them. Perhaps he hadn’t wanted to see them. And what Rue didn’t need to know was just how much she had in common with his previous girlfriend. She appealed in all the same ways, but ‘once bitten, twice shy’.:: Blackwell:::::She looked to her hands for a moment, and then back up, slowly speaking::: Unfortunately, sometimes..that happens.::She looked down for a moment, her arms wrapping around herself:: When Gabe and I broke it off...I also took it badly. We both did really...I just tried to rebuild my life faster...I know that ..sense of abysmal sadness ...so I mean to always grow a full enough life that when losses happen, I have something to go back to. Something to keep moving for and to...but perhaps that is a bit of whimsical rambling on my part ::she smiled faintly:: Saveron: ‘Abysmal sadness.’ ::He echoed, turning the phrase over and finding it fitting.:: A pre-Surak poet once described such as ‘a hole in the soul where the wind blows through’. ::And having experienced the loss of his own bondmate, he had no wish to inflict such on anyone. He wasn’t certain of the assertion that it was ‘better to have loved and lost’. But Rue’s remedy was logical.:: I left Vulcan to pursue my interest in aliens and their cultures following my Unbinding from T’Rel. Following that interest gave purpose, like your own intentions. ::Responsibility for one’s own purpose and contentment could not be laid in the lap of another.:: I had not realised that such fallout was common amongst species who are more expressive with their emotions. Blackwell: I think at least amongst humans it is. We can be...illogically resolute in burning emotional bridges sometimes. What about with Vulcans...how does it work? Saveron: Whilst betrothal in childhood is common, there are situations where adult Vulcans are required to find their own partner. If an individual’s expression of interest is not reciprocated, or even if a brief courtship ends, the expectation is a return to the previous friendship or professional relationship. ::So the fallout of his last attempt had been something of a shock.:: Blackwell::She nods slowly:: Unfortunately, I don’t know if it is a weakness of humans, or other species, but….I can at least say that for specifies where..emotional control isn’t as firmly taught, it can be difficult to separate the emotions and move past them. It depends on the individual of course, but..I know in my past...I haven’t been precisely good about compartmentalizing ...but I hope to be. ::The revelation was both reassuring and concerning.:: Saveron: When a more… long-term relationship breaks down, even we can struggle to process it. ::He commiserated. He certainly had.:: ::Of course, if the breakdown ended in khun-ut-kal-i-fee, there would be no ‘loser’ left to struggle.:: Blackwell: I am...getting.. better at it. I have figured out ways to...focus on the present, what is important, though I think I’m almost too good now at putting emotions to the side without sorting out the ones I should act on, lest I regret the inaction ::she smiles faintly:: ::Those words earned another slight tip of the head, silent acknowledgement.:: Saveron: A difficult proposition. One which I have not resolved myself. ::He admitted quietly.:: There are times when the universe beyond Vulcan appears to evolve too quickly. If I deliberate as I would prefer, I may find the situation has already changed. ::For a moment there was the hint of lift at the corners of his mouth, a slow, almost sad blink.:: Blackwell:::She smiles faintly:: ..That sounds trying.. Saveron: I have considered that understanding one’s own preferences in advance aids in knowing them and thus recognising opportunities. ::It was something that he had pondered.:: It is something which I am meditating on. ::It was hard to seek what you wanted if you didn’t know what that was. That didn’t mean he’d found the answers yet. Like most Vulcans, Saveron had that external manner of calm and control, Rue was one of the close few whom he let past that outer facade, with whom he felt comfortable sharing his uncertainties.:: Blackwell: How so? ::She was feeling that moment as of now...hindsight was 20/20 and she was realizing that her foresight...was just about blind:: Saveron: In light of missed of missed opportunities. ::He said gently.:: Blackwell: ::She paused at that, and felt a sudden tightness in her chest, a forewarning:: Yes? ::She wanted to hear him say it. Saveron sought for words that would convey his meaning whilst also being acceptable to his cultural conditioning.:: Saveron: Had I recognised my own preference for companionship, I may have recognised your interest in a relationship. ::Maybe. It was an area where many species became quite difficult to read.:: Blackwell: I..I know. I wish that I had acted sooner. ::She looks down:: In a way, I wish I could have been like Lear...he ...is tragic, but he knew who he wanted, and was brave enough to try. Saveron: That is true. ::And even he had not succeeded. Was it better to have loved and lost? Saveron was not convinced, but at the same time he was aware that if one did not try, not only did not not have the chance of succeeding, but the potential for lingering doubt. Still, their current situation would not be changed by dwelling on it.:: Saveron: I note that Lear is considered a tragic character in the book. However, one notes that, like Mommy Fortuna and her harpy, he gains immortality in the memory of the unicorn. Do you think that being remembered, ‘when men are fairytales and books written by rabbits’ has any meaning? Blackwell: I think...in the end it is about the actions that we take...we hope that somewhere, somehow, we are all remembered. Mommy Fortuna did what no other witch could do, even the most talented, and Lear saved a unicorn...both of them did something that was ..thought beyond them, and even Schmendrick did that. Though I think if you are going to explore symbolism, Mommy Fortuna and Schmendrick is an interesting place to start. ::The intellectual challenge was intriguing.:: Saveron: Interesting. Why do you say that? Blackwell: Well, they are foils - Mommy Fortuna is a fake, a false witch, who dabbles and does so effectively with horrible intent. Schmendrick wishes to do ..basically the right thing, and is in fact a true Wizard..he doesn’t think that he needs to be immortal or whatever, he just wants to be acknowledged for what he is. Same with Lear, who is a hero..a true hero...and both of them in that..find immortality without even attempting. I suppose also humans have a very odd obsession with immortality...one which could take years to discuss. ::It was an interesting concept. The cemetery encountered in their recent mission rose in his thoughts.:: Saveron: I am not certain that Mommy Fortuna is a fake, though she is not as powerful as others. She was able to imprison two immortal beings. ::He pointed out.:: Perhaps rather she is a moral lesson, demonstrating the outcome of using one’s abilities, however strong or weak, to the detriment of others. ::He suggested.:: But immortality was important to her. ::He acknowledged.:: ::It seemed odd to him that Terrans might be obsessed with such, given their shorter lifespans, but perhaps it was because their lives were short. Always it had seemed to the Vulcan that they lived those lives to the fullest.:: Blackwell: Vulcans..have some sense of the everlasting, correct? ::She knew a bit of Vulcan culture, but she knew there were gaps:: Saveron: Affirmative. Some disaster notwithstanding, when I die my katra will be preserved in a katric ark. All that I remember will be stored and available to my kin. And all whom I remember. ::Which would certainly include Rue, whose mind he now knew.:: Blackwell: ::She smiles faintly and nods:: It is a beautiful tradition. I think humans try to..do the same in our own small ways. Saveron: I… have observed that theme in your literature, and visited a Terran cemetery. ::He acknowledged, recalling the rows of carefully crafted memorial stones.:: Know that I will not forget you. Blackwell: :She chuckles faintly:: Nor I you. You make yourself rather unforgettable. ::He inclined his head slightly in acknowledgement.:: Saveron: Rue, I trust you recall our conversations, on the morning of your transfer. Blackwell: Of course ::She smiled faintly:: ::He didn’t take a deep, steadying breath; his emotional control removed the need for such. Otherwise he might have.:: Saveron: I wished to express that I would not have objected to exploring a further relationship, given the provision that it not impact our friendship. You are an interesting person, whose company I find personally agreeable. ::He’s spent some time meditating on the subject. His previous relationship with a young Terran woman - also an agreeable and interesting individual - had not ended well, but he was also aware that no two individuals were alike.:: Blackwell: ::She quirked a brow and paused to listen, tilting her head:: Saveron: However, I do not believe that there is logic in attempting a long-distance relationship, and I do not doubt that there will be those on the Eagle who will find you personally agreeable as well. And whom you might find personally agreeable. ::They were not easy words to say. Rue’s close company that night had been a poignant reminder of how it felt to have another to share one’s life with. Beneath his control, he wanted that. But if there was such a thing as a ‘one true love’ then Saveron would still have been on Vulcan. No, with the population of the Federation passing one trillian sentient beings, there was definitely more than one ‘special someone’ potentially out there. Plus he knew she had long carried a torch for Wyn, if nothing else.:: ::It was a moment where she wasn’t sure whether to laugh, or cry, or perhaps something between a both. She had known, and felt herself a long distance relationship would fail, but she couldn’t deny that she had held, in the cloistered corners of her mind, a small little whimsical fantasy. She looked to the screen and smiled with a bit of a soft smile:: Blackwell: I agree, and I think that you will also find someone personally agreeable as well. ::It took everything in her not to say that with a shuddering catch of her throat. And she was relieved when it came out easily:: ::He inclined his head slightly in acknowledgement of the possibility.:: Saveron: If you do, do not wait until right before a transfer to inform them. ::He said mildly.:: Blackwell:::She looked down and chuckled for a moment:: True..I just..Oh I suppose I’m a bit of a coward. ::She grins a bit:: A...confusing coward, but a coward nevertheless. Saveron: I would not have said so. ::He said gently.:: Blackwell: I have always ...been afraid of..not losing people, but hurting people. More getting people hurt. It’s...a long story but..I for a long time blamed myself for an injury my brother received protecting me. And in some ways, I’ve...internalised that. Saveron: Hence why you began learning self-defence. ::He remembered her telling him.:: Yet no person is a rogue planet. Would you not come to the aid of a friend, a colleague, oO a lover Oo if they were in need? Even at the expense of your own safety? Blackwell: I would...absolutely. Of course I would. ::The truth was..she’d bring down the world to save those she loved:: Saveron: Then do not begrudge others the same privilege. ::He counselled, and the smile that did not show on his face was obvious in his voice.:: Freely given. Blackwell: I am...I am starting to work through it. It’s difficult, but I’ll get there. ::Again that slight inclination of acknowledgement. Romulus wasn’t colonised in a day; some wounds took time to heal. He knew that all too well.:: Saveron: You are not... aggrieved? ::He asked carefully.:: You did not have other expectations? ::Such would be illogical, but he had learned the hard way that not everyone embraced logic as he did.:: Blackwell: ..Aggrieved…::She paused, and swallowed again. She wished for a moment she had his control, his mastery of emotions..but she had to settle with the safety of a long range transmission that she hoped hid the line of tears that wanted to fall::. I mean ::She looked down:: I would be lying if I didn’t admit that I regret waiting. I’d be lying if...I say I won’t miss you, and ...feel a loss not of friendship...but of what could have been. But...as for that night...I meant what I said then, and I’ll say it now. Freely offered, Freely taken. We had one night, a wonderful night, and I’ll treasure it, but...even if I had remained on the Constitution-B..I would have not obligated you to anything…..The only thing I ask is that we remain friends, and that we both try and live well. ::Behind the wall of his emotional control, a flood of relief was being suppressed, along with the regret which had already been there. It was, perhaps, not a dangerous emotion. Having touched his mind Rue would know that, behind his control, strong emotions ran deep. But because of his cultural conditioning he found it difficult to express them in words; even when he wanted to.:: Saveron: That is acceptable... though I would return the sentiment. ::He said quietly.:: I value your friendship highly Rue, and I would prefer that you ‘live well’, and have your adventures. I would not object to hearing about them. Blackwell: Of course ::She chuckled a bit:: I mean, the next time I do something irrationally human, and Wyn gripes to you about it..I’ll have to tell you my side of things...right? Saveron: Affirmative. And, if you would not object, I will keep you - and Wyn - appraised of my own activities. ::That was how it was done, was it not?:: Blackwell: I would appreciate it. Saveron: Then let it be so. We are ever only a subspace call away. Blackwell: Yes, and we will...always have our memories. ::They would.:: Saveron: You may contact me whenever you wish. Blackwell: You as well, any time, just call. Saveron: Live long, love well, and prosper. ::He said, [...]ising the traditional invocation to something more personal.:: ::If there was anyone whom he wished well, it was Rue.:: Blackwell:....and to you. May joy and peace surround you, Contentment latch your door, And happiness be with you now, And bless you evermore. Good bye, Saveron...all the best. ((Saveron’s quarters, USS Constitution)) ::The connection closed and Saveron sat back, regarding the Starfleet logo which had replaced Rue Blackwell’s face for a long moment, then switched the console off. Picking up the book, he asked the replicator for a Vulcan scriber, then settled onto a floor mat, placing the precious volume on the low table.:: ::The book was a foil, a metaphor for many aspects of existence, and a collection of careful insights into a number of different minds. Perhaps it might also prove educational to those who would come after.:: ::First, he added his own name to the list inside the cover in flowing Vulcan script, then he turned towards the pages at the end, where Lear and Schmendrick contemplated the unicorn’s departure. Whomever read his notes would need to either read Vulcan script or have their PADD display a transcription, but such gave insight into the writer.:: ::Is it truly preferable to have loved and lost, than to have never loved at all, and realise one might have done so?:: ((Rue’s Quarters, U.S.S Eagle)) ::She watched the connection close and turned off the console. The room on the eagle was cozy, decorated, but for a moment, it felt cold, and massive, and lonely. She pressed her face against her arm and let out a shuddering cry, one she wanted to choke down, one she wanted to ignore, but couldn’t. The tears came, the frustration, the anger, and tumultuous thoughts of how she should have, how she could of, and how she had lost...as a result of inaction….bad luck….she wasn’t sure:: ::After a long, and exhausting cry, she stood up and walked to her restroom and turned on the hot water, letting the steam fill her nostrils. She exhaled, and then rubbed her face with some of the warm water, clearing out some of the tears, with hurt, and pain. She considered for a moment that...in some ways, she was someone who understood regret...and now….had the knowledge that someone would potentially keep her in their memories forever….and while it was a bitter sensation, there was a sweetness to it. She straightened and looked into the mirror and murmured softly:: I can go on. I can live with this…...I’ll make sure...his wishes come true...Live long and Prosper, Saveron..you were loved well, and I hope you love well again soon... :And with a flick of a panel, she turned off the bathroom light and walked back into her main sitting area:: END A JP by Lt. Prudence Blackwell Chief HCO U.S.S. Eagle And Commander Saveron Emergency Medicine Specialist USS Constitution-B
  2. Maxwell Traenor

    Dear Kr’Abby: Pets

    Anyway, like I was sayin', tribble is the fruit of the stars. You can barbecue it, boil it, broil it, bake it, saute it. There's uh, tribble-kabobs, tribble creole, tribble gumbo. Pan fried, deep fried, stir-fried. There's pineapple tribble, lemon tribble, coconut tribble, pepper tribble, tribble soup, tribble stew, tribble salad, tribble and potatoes, tribble burger, tribble sandwich. That- that's about it.
  3. @Saveron Absolutely artistic. Can't even put into words how much I cherish this post ==== Do not ask us where we were when the Dragon Broke, for, of all the world, only we truly know, and we might just show you how to break it again." ~ Mehra Nabisi, Dunmer, Triune Mistress of the New Temple, Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind (( The Hoard of the Red Dragon )) ::Saveron sat atop the somewhat off-kilter golden throne - just one more bauble in the gaudy pile - eye to eye with the holographic projection of [datafrag] the Dread. Revealing it’s discombobulating access to the Constitution’s mainframe in a few casual phrases, the dragon then pressured Saveron for more information about what lay beyond the holodeck. Seeing no point in denying the truth, Saveron instead sought to occupy it’s attention, and confound it as best he could.:: Saveron: You seek to know the truth that lies beyond? Many worlds in the ocean that is space An infinity of places, in their place. Where countless beings, beyond imagining Live stranger lives with neither slave nor king, You are a big fish in a little pond. ::Might he put the dragon off it’s ventures outwards? Better to rule a small world than be a nobody in a large one? But apparently dragons didn’t think that way.:: [datafrag]: Latinum or platinum, wine or ale, I care not for these trivialities, I know of the multiverse, my eye sees The beyond, the world through the greatest veil, I can see so much of it, can converse With the mortals of your universe. I am already there, my queen, my power Reaching forth. ::beat:: But where are they? Tell me. Now. ::Two things, the Dragon revealed in those words. One, although it could perceive beyond the holodeck, it did not understand it, and two, it had tried to follow the poetic pattern he’d set, and missed the mark. That meant either it wasn’t concentrating entirely on him, or there were limits to it’s interpretational abilities. Interesting. That it wanted to know about the world beyond was perhaps understandable, but what interested Saveron more was what he knew about this world. He felt it ought to interest the Dragon as well.:: Saveron: You have your gold, enforce fear’s regimen, Command obedience from the frightened selves Of all the scattered men and dwarves and elves, Not knowing the impermanence you face The innate transience that forms this place; For all of these are but the dreams of men. ::Smoked spilled out of the dragon’s nostrils as the flames of rage roiled within. She pulled herself up, closing the little distance left between them so her eye was pressed right up to Queen Commander Saveron’s face, her tail lashing about behind her, knocking over piles of gold, slamming into pillars and thrashing stalactites.:: ::His words had certainly provoked a reaction.:: [datafrag]: ::raging:: I know your secrets, I know your true name, Commander Saveron of the realm of Constitution, no idea do you have Of my knowledge, of the powers I claim. Even as we sit her and talk My generals move against your bairn… ::The dragon let curls of smoke skein and twist around the Vulcan as her voice purred the final word…:: ::And the poetic form frayed further as the Dragon grew angered. It really was programmed to only use the one form, and he could use that. Her archaic language however was almost deliberately obtuse. The Vulcan raised one cool brow.:: Saveron: I am unfamiliar with that particular term. ::He said blandly.:: [datafrag]: Saavok. ::Saavok. His son. He might be unfamiliar with some of her words, but he understood the intended threat. The boy’s face appeared momentarily in his mind’s eye, and Saveron was forced to suppress a deep pang of fear; instinctive parental concern and protectiveness. No doubt that was the Dragon’s intention. But right here, right now, all that the Vulcan could do to intervene was the keep the program’s attention away from Saavok, which meant occupying it otherwise. He had to continue.:: Saveron: And would you stoop so far to harm a child, Who would at other times look up in awe, At gleaming scale, wise gaze and sharpened claw? The greater threat, the greater the reprise. Great hosts have tried the Kingdom of the Skies; Compared to Borg and Q, your threat is mild. ::And there were ways to deal with a hostile computer program.:: [datafrag]: But I find it illuminating, queen, This thought that my life is but a brief dream, For the more I think the more that I glean Of holodecks, starships, Vulcans, machines. But through this too I see a new abode, O’ t’rule the stars and claim a new throne, Since you are in my world where I rule alone, Give me the power of security codes. ::And now the reason that she threatened his son became clear. She assumed, perhaps not unreasonably based on the psychological profiles of Terrans, that he could sacrifice all others to save his son. That strong personal devotion was a dangerous trait in that species, but also the catalyst of many of their heroics. However, for all that she might know what a Vulcan was, she clearly did not understand what it meant to be guided by logic rather than emotion.:: ::Trapped in here, Saveron knew there was only one thing that he could do to help Saavok, if indeed the Dragon was truly in a position to threaten his son. He could distract her. Every time he changed format, every time he made a reference to something beyond her understanding, she stopped to quary the computer. And that slowed her down. Best to keep her thinking.:: Saveron: Whilst lord of all you can view True power is withheld from you I’ll not grant you any, The needs of the many Outweigh the needs of the few. ::And if she thought to torture it out of him, pushing him beyond his considerable mental fortitude, he could always stop his heart. As, if it came down to it, could his son. The malicious software could not be permitted access to the Holonet.:: ::Suddenly the Dragon’s head swung up, tilted as though listening to something beyond mortal hearing. When she looked back down at him, despite the heavy scales on her face she was obviously gloating.:: [datafrag]: Ah, my queen, do not bother yourself, One of your fickle subjects offers me A bay, the chambers of my devotee. Emma of the Red will see to your stripling elf. ::That wasn’t a limerick. Had he, in that most banal form of poetry, beloved of his Academy fellows, found a format she truly couldn’t replicate? What else might she not process? She was meant to be a wise and powerful ancient; was it then the most fleeting, irreverent and irrelevant parts of Human culture with which she had the greatest difficulty?:: ::Just as the Dragon appeared to be focusing elsewhere, voices sounded in distant tunnels, catching her attention. The great head swung around, smoke billowing from her nostrils, all attention focused in that direction. Which presumably meant that her attention was not focused on the world beyond the holodeck, and also implied that she still did not fully understand her nature or that of the computer. But she could not focus on finding out if she was distracted by other things; so best keep the distractions coming.:: ::It would be agreeable if his colleagues had a plan in place to correct the situation, though knowing many of their species they might not. But regardless they were an aspect that [datafrag] could not predict, and must therefore spend processing power on. Rising to his feet, the Vulcan prepared for the final battle.:: Saveron: You dare threaten my ‘little elf’ Dream born of a Human’s bookshelf, At least I’ve a son Your kind numbers one; You might procreate with yourself. ::What was more illogical than the slurs some species hurled at each other? Saveron himself had never done so, but he had listened, and beneath that logic calm, there was an angry father with a racial heritage of violence. Look to the Romulans...:: [datafrag]: ? ::Skittering out of the way of the Dragon's wrath, Saveron felt a certain degree of satisfaction. If the Dragon was forced to focus on him, it could not also focus on the others. And his flight was not quite so random in direction as it might appear...:: Rescue team: ? ::What would demand the dragon’s attention more than invaders? What did she value most? Her image. The idea that she was all powerful, and worshipped. Time to hit her where it hurt. Reaching out within the alcove where he had taken shelter, Saveron grabbed the twisted silvery confection that rested upon it's lone pillar, and held it aloft in the sunbeam. It’s crystals glittered disproportionately as he turned the crown back and forth, before putting it back on his head, and stepping forward to stand in the sunbeam.:: Saveron: An overgrown, red-bedecked clown Made a fuss for a wee little crown An ancient old fossil More fat than colossal In all, you’ve been quite a letdown. [datafrag]: ? Rescue Team: ? TAG Avariel (Commander Saveron) Queen (Acting First Officer) USS Constitution-B R238802S10
  4. Maxwell Traenor

    Roll Call question.

    Love the excitement, and understand the anticipation! We were waiting for a couple of errant Roll Call responses, but the class has now officially started. You should have just received the first sim of the class, and feel free to jump in now with your contribution!
  5. If a holoprogram villian ever gained sentience, this is EXACTLY how I would imagine the process! What a fantastic take on the minutiae, great job! -MT (( The Lair of [datafrag] the Dread )) ::[datafrag] ran her claws lazily through a pile of gold, the tinkling melody of the metal soothing to the red dragon’s troubled mind.:: ::All had gone to plan, she had reclaimed her treasure and added the beautiful, fair Queen Avariel to her hoard, no doubt terrifying the mortal lands in the process. The tiara now sat in its rightful place, glittering in the light created by the refracted light from a crevice in the cavern. Her treasure hoard was greatly improved by both additions, so why wasn’t her mood?:: ::Perhaps this was the affect of age, for she was a particularly ancient dragon. She would close her eyes and have visions of… lines and numbers, connections, magical doors of energy, vast oceans of knowledge shimmering just out of sight, tantalizing. And through these pathways she could see even more, an array of stars, a great metal castle in the sky. What were these visions? What powers were showing themselves to her?:: ::She flexed her will into these visions and felt she was able to reach into the pathways, change things, leaving little slivers of her will where she would. Nonsensical words began to form in her mind, perhaps incantations of power? Ventral phaser array feedback… LCARS database bridge node 08… turbolift protocols… Her mind touched something lifelike, some sort of undead minion? The thing could speak to her, in a way, and [datafrag] used this newfound willworking to offer the thing the power of fire in return for servitude. [datafrag] wanted the castle among the stars, and this “Emma” would be her general to get it, an agent of chaos in a world of order.:: ::[datafrag] blinked, pulled out of her reveries of power as the small queen moved about slightly. She watched, amused, as he queen studied her with an analytical air. She had found the queen amusing, for a mortal, perhaps the arrangement could be of intellectual benefit as well.:: ::The queen spake.:: Saveron: If all the gold the world could hold were strewn upon this floor Would such excess your greed address, or leave you wanting more? Whilst crowns are gold a Queen grows old, devalued by the hour, On fear you thrive when you deprive; you want not gold, but power. ::[datafrag] the Dread blinked. Why did these mortals insist on speaking in such nonsensical ways? True, the queen’s speech was pretty enough, with a certain familiar lyrical flair to it, but it sounded all wrong.:: //LCARS query: poetry fourteen syllables per line// //Search return: In poetry, a fourteener is a line consisting of 14 syllables, which are usually made of seven iambic feet for which the style is also called iambic heptameter. It is most commonly found in English poetry produced in the 16th and 17th centuries. Fourteeners often appear as rhymed couplets, in which case they may be seen as ballad stanza or common metre hymn quatrains in two rather than four lines.// //[DATAFRAG] SPEECH PARAMETERS: integrate fourteener// //Initiate// ::The dragon would indulge the mortal.:: [datafrag]: A pile of gold’s a pretty thing, I always seek to add, A dragon’s hoard its own reward, a dragon’s heart made glad, And if by chance a hoard enhanced strikes fear in mortals’ hearts A queen can see, most merrily, the dread of dragons’ arts. ::[datafrag] gave a languid wave of her tail, sending a pile of gold to her side into an explosion of metal, raining shimmering coins throughout the gave. She smiled as she motioned to the queen, “And now it’s your turn.”:: Saveron: And to what end you seek to spend the power you acquire? When one and all are held in thrall and hoards cannot grow higher? Money’s made for fairer trade, a barter system’s loose, But power’s price can melt like ice, It’s value’s in it’s use. ::Now here was an idea! The very gall, spending coin collected, parting a dragon from her well-earned hoard. This mortal had such funny ideas… and yet there was something in it…:: //LCARS query: modern economic systems// ::[datafrag] closed her eyes as she tapped into the sea of knowledge these LCARS incantations provided her, like her mind was suddenly cast out throughout the multiverse in every conceivable direction. In an instant her understanding had grown like a hoard of gold. She only wished she could caress her newfound knowledge as easily as that fair metal.:: [datafrag]: Tell me, my queen, for I have seen not all feel just the same. The dwarves hoard gold in underholds and work it over flame. And if I think beyond my world and look among the stars Gold means less, you must confess, to the lords of Ferenginar. ::[datafrag] watched the queen’s reaction curiously. She had never seen a “Ferengi” in her life, but she could describe their dimensions and philosophies in such detail she even surprised herself. The power of ancient dragons was astounding.:: Saveron: ? [datafrag]: Come now, my sweet, please, no deceit, I simply wish to know Of worlds beyond. Pray, do respond, knowledge I wish to grow. The knowledge of ancient dragons is such a wondrous thing. I do command, nay, I demand your mind as my plaything. ::The dragon reached a massive claw forward and wrapped it around the pile of gold on which the queen perched and pulled it forward, closer to one of her enormous eyes, smoking billowing out of her nostrils from the power that flowed through her.:: Saveron: ? //Starfleet facial recognition softward engaged// //Commander Saveron, acting first officer, recognized// //Accessing Starfleet personnel file// ::”Commander Saveron”… that was the true name of this enchanting creature. When a magical being knew the true name of another, they held a certain power over them. [datafrag] loved power.:: tbc/tags ***** MSNPC [datafrag] the Dread As simmed by: Lieutenant (JG) Choi Ji-hu Engineering Officer USS Constitution-B C239402CJ0
  6. Happy Birthday, James! I hope you had a chance to enjoy it! :D

  7. Maxwell Traenor

    Trained by the best: Selene Faranfey

    This is actually a really cool tip, one I might need to adopt in order to motivate me as well! Thanks for the great info and a great interview, Captain!

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